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Jackie magazine was the British equivalent of Tiger Beat. At its 1970s peak, 600,000 copies were sold each week. Its fashion tips, romance advice, and celebrity gossip were passed around sleepovers from London to Leeds. Each issue was lit up with pictorials of boyish heartthrobs. The Monkees, the Osmonds and David Cassidy were favorites.

The pin-up for the October 7, 1967 issue was an interesting choice. It was Pink Floyd, the same band whose dark, druggy, and musically and thematically complex albums have become classics.

The four young men are decked out in spotless mod attire, their hair slick and shiny as they grant the camera half-smiles. Lead singer Syd Barrett, always off cue, is closing his eyes.

The band wound up in the magazine despite—or, perhaps, because of—the fact they were far from stars then. The editors of Jackie had never heard a Pink Floyd record because there wasn’t one when the pictures were snapped.

According to Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd by Glenn Povey, the photoshoot happened on Feb. 6, 1967, five days after the band signed to EMI and five weeks before they released their transgressive first single, “Arnold Layne,” about a transvestite. EMI had recruited the band from the London club scene and quickly scheduled two photo shoots, one for Jackie and another for a magazine called Fashion 208, presumably anticipating they’d be published when Pink Floyd had material out. Their psychedelically flavored first record, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, came out two months before their Jackie pin-up did.

Launched in 1964, Jackie was all about the latest pop stars. Engelbert Humperdinck, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones and, of course, the Beatles appeared on covers. So it was up for featuring the latest EMI signee without having actually heard them. (The magazine shuttered in 1993, its circulation dwindling as it resisted the trend of juicier, more sexually explicit magazines.)

The line between teen pop and substantive music was blurred to magazines back then. In the U.S., a writer for 16 Magazine experienced a “dream day” with Jim Morrison of the Doors and a kiddie publication called Teen Scoop offered a vinyl record interview with Simon and Garfunkel as a bonus.

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This Just In
Police Recover Nearly 100 Artifacts Stolen From John Lennon’s Estate
Keystone Features / Stringer / Getty Images
Keystone Features / Stringer / Getty Images

A collection of artifacts stolen from John Lennon’s estate, including diaries, glasses, and handwritten music, has been recovered by German police, the Associated Press reports. After arresting the first suspect, law enforcement is now working to apprehend a second person of interest in the case.

The nearly 100 items went missing from the New York home of the late Beatles star’s widow Yoko Ono in 2006. Years later, German police were tipped off to their whereabouts when a bankruptcy administrator came across the haul in the storage facility of a Berlin auction house. The three leather-bound diaries that were recovered are dated 1975, 1979, and 1980. One entry refers to Lennon’s famous nude photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz, and another was written the morning of December 8, 1980, hours before he was shot and killed. In addition to the journals, police retrieved two pairs of his iconic glasses, a 1965 recording of a Beatles concert, a 1952 school book, contract documents for the copyright of the song “I’m the Greatest”, handwritten scores for "Woman" and "Just Like Starting Over”, and a cigarette case.

German authorities flew to New York to have Ono verify the items' authenticity. "She was very emotional and we noticed clearly how much these things mean to her,” prosecutor Susann Wettley told AP. When the objects will be returned to Ono is still unclear.

The first suspect, a 58-year-old German businessman from Turkey, was arrested Monday, November 21, following a raid of his house and vehicles. The second suspect is one of Ono's former chauffeurs who has a past conviction related to the theft. Police officers are hoping to extradite him from his current home in Turkey before moving forward with the case.

[h/t AP]

Scientists Analyze the Moods of 90,000 Songs Based on Music and Lyrics

Based on the first few seconds of a song, the part before the vocalist starts singing, you can judge whether the lyrics are more likely to detail a night of partying or a devastating breakup. The fact that musical structures can evoke certain emotions just as strongly as words can isn't a secret. But scientists now have a better idea of which language gets paired with which chords, according to their paper published in Royal Society Open Science.

For their study, researchers from Indiana University downloaded 90,000 songs from Ultimate Guitar, a site that allows users to upload the lyrics and chords from popular songs for musicians to reference. Next, they pulled data from labMT, which crowd-sources the emotional valence (positive and negative connotations) of words. They referred to the music recognition site Gracenote to determine where and when each song was produced.

Their new method for analyzing the relationship between music and lyrics confirmed long-held knowledge: that minor chords are associated with sad feelings and major chords with happy ones. Words with a negative valence, like "pain," "die," and "lost," are all more likely to fall on the minor side of the spectrum.

But outside of major chords, the researchers found that high-valence words tend to show up in a surprising place: seventh chords. These chords contain four notes at a time and can be played in both the major and minor keys. The lyrics associated with these chords are positive all around, but their mood varies slightly depending on the type of seventh. Dominant seventh chords, for example, are often paired with terms of endearment, like "baby", or "sweet." With minor seventh chords, the words "life" and "god" are overrepresented.

Using their data, the researchers also looked at how lyric and chord valence differs between genres, regions, and eras. Sixties rock ranks highest in terms of positivity while punk and metal occupy the bottom slots. As for geography, Scandinavia (think Norwegian death metal) produces the dreariest music while songs from Asia (like K-Pop) are the happiest. So if you're looking for a song to boost your mood, we suggest digging up some Asian rock music from the 1960s, and make sure it's heavy on the seventh chords.


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